Mike Wallace

Injury Notes: Brown, Wallace, Berry, Bolts

As the Steelers enter their must-win (plus-help-required) Week 17 scenario, their best player is not certain to be available. Antonio Brown missed three practices this week and is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bengals. The four-time All-Pro is undergoing tests on his injured knee, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Brown has not missed a game this season. While Pittsburgh would be favored to beat Cincinnati at home without Brown, two-time reigning AFC North champions have not exactly been bastions of consistency this season or in recent years. The Steelers can clinch their fifth straight playoff berth with a win and a Ravens home loss to the Browns.

Here’s the latest on the injury front, shifting to one of Brown’s former teammates:

  • Although the Eagles surprisingly brought Mike Wallace back onto their 53-man roster without the usual IR-return practice routine, the deep threat will not play against the Redskins on Sunday. Philadelphia declared Wallace out because of his ankle injury, making the team’s move to activate him strictly for the playoffs. To make the playoffs, Philadelphia needs to beat Washington and have Chicago stop Minnesota. Wallace is not signed past this season, so it’s now possible he will end his Eagles tenure having played in only two games.
  • The Chargers are assured of a playoff spot, making a possible Hunter Henry cameo more likely. It might occur as soon as next week. Tom Telesco did not rule out his top tight end being ready to return before a possible wild-card game, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Henry participated in seven-on-seven drills with the Bolts on Friday, Williams tweets, doing so after being confined to individual work last week. The Chargers designated Henry to return from IR on Dec. 17, so they have until the divisional round — if their season extends that far — to make a call on Henry.
  • Eric Berry cannot shake his troublesome heel ailment. The three-time All-Pro Chiefs safety continues to battle this issue, Andy Reid said, via the Kansas City Star’s Brooke Pryor (on Twitter). Berry has been on a snap count (99 in two games) since making his season debut in Week 15, and Reid did not commit to Berry playing Sunday against the Raiders.
  • Ahead of the Texans‘ pivotal Week 17 game, Lamar Miller will return. Bill O’Brien said his top running back is “good to go” against the Jaguars. Miller missed much of the past two games with a sprained ankle. The Jags are unlikely to have Leonard Fournette available, with the second-year back listed as doubtful.

Eagles To Activate Mike Wallace From IR

The Eagles are not assured of continuing their Super Bowl title defense past Week 17, but they will add a key reinforcement going into their final regular-season game.

Mike Wallace will be activated from IR, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Eagles also promoted cornerback Josh Hawkins from their practice squad, and NFL reporter Geoff Mosher tweets Philadelphia waived corners De’Vante Bausby and Chandon Sullivan to make room on its 53-man roster.

The Wallace move is interesting considering he did not return to practice before this activation. Teams are given three weeks’ worth of evaluation time for IR-return candidates to practice in order to determine if they will return to the active roster or remain on IR for the rest of the season. With the Eagles in win-or-go-home (with help required) territory, they are moving fast to an all-hands-on-deck approach, it appears.

Wallace has only played in two games with the Eagles, his fifth NFL team. The veteran deep threat suffered a broken fibula in Week 2. He will join a team that now has Golden Tate in the fold, with the Eagles’ Tate-Wallace-Alshon JefferyNelson AgholorJordan Matthews top five serving as one of the most experienced groups in the game.

The Eagles added Wallace on a one-year, $1.9MM deal that bumped up to north of $2.5MM thanks to at least one easily attainable incentive. However, Philly may end up getting three games from Wallace. The Eagles must beat the Redskins, who they defeated in Washington three weeks ago, and have the Bears topple the Vikings to make the playoffs.

Eagles WR Mike Wallace Hopeful He Can Return This Season

The Eagles placed wideout Mike Wallace on injured reserve Wednesday after he suffered a broken fibula in Week 2, but the veteran pass-catcher is optimistic he can make a 2018 return, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “As long as I’m healthy, I know they’ll bring me back in,” Wallace said.

A broken fibula generally heals in roughly six weeks, so there’s every reason to think Wallace would come back this season. Because he’s on injured reserve, Wallace must miss at least eight games before returning, so he should have ample time to recover. If the Eagles designate Wallace as one of their IR/return players, he can begin practicing in six weeks. Once Wallace returns to practice, Philadelphia would get a three-week window during which it could activate him.

Wallace, 32, inked a one-year, $1.915MM deal with the Eagles this spring in order to replace Torrey Smith as the club’s deep threat. After posting 52 receptions for 748 yards and four touchdowns with the Ravens in 2017, Wallace managed just three targets and zero catches for Philadelphia before going down.

With Wallace down, the Eagles are relying on Nelson Agholor, Kamar Aiken, Shelton Gibson, and the recently-signed Jordan Matthews as their wideouts. Alshon Jeffery, still working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, returned to a limited practice this week.

Eagles Sign Jordan Matthews

The Eagles reunited with wide receiver Jordan Matthews, according to a team announcement. To make room, the Eagles have placed veteran Mike Wallace on IR. 

[RELATED: Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3]

Matthews worked out for the Eagles on Tuesday – his first audition since the Patriots released him in August. Although he was not productive with Buffalo last year, the Eagles have seen what Matthews can do when he is fully healthy and in the right system. He enjoyed three 800-plus-yard seasons with Philly, two in Chip Kelly’s offense and the third — a 73-reception, 804-yard campaign in 2016 — under Doug Pederson. His totals in 2016 were a close second to Zach Ertz among Eagles receivers.

Wallace, meanwhile, suffered a broken fibula last week. The injury is not necessarily a season-ender, so he could be a candidate to return from IR in eight weeks or more.

Jordan Matthews Works Out For Eagles

A reunion between Jordan Matthews and the Eagles may not be imminent, but the defending Super Bowl champions are considering the possibility.

The veteran wide receiver worked out for the Eagles on Tuesday, Eagles insider Geoff Mosher reports (on Twitter). He was the only player to audition for the Eagles today, per Mosher.

This is Matthews’ first known workout since the Patriots released him early last month. He has not been the same since being traded from the Eagles to the Bills just prior to last season. Matthews’ Buffalo contract year helped cool off his free agent market, the formerly productive Philadelphia slot player catching just 25 passes for 282 yards. He settled for a low-end Patriots contract.

Matthews amassed three 800-plus-yard seasons with the Eagles, two in Chip Kelly’s offense and the third — a 73-reception, 804-yard campaign in 2016 — with Doug Pederson. His totals in 2016 were a close second to Zach Ertz among Eagles.

Philly’s experienced trouble at wideout this season. Mike Wallace is dealing with a fractured fibula, per ESPN.com’s Tim McManus (Twitter link), Mack Hollins is on IR and Alshon Jeffery remains week-to-week. They may be looking to add a proven talent here, and Matthews certainly has familiarity with Pederson’s system.

Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been medically cleared and will start against the Colts on Sunday, the club announced today.

Wentz is roughly nine months removed from tearing his ACL, so it’s no surprise Philadelphia used a cautious approach with its franchise signal-caller. While he’d been cleared for 11-on-11 drills, Wentz hadn’t been cleared for full contact until today. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated Wentz will need a week of full contact practice before he’ll be re-inserted as the club’s starter.

The Eagles had the luxury of deploying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles during their first two games and managed to post a 1-1 record. Foles wasn’t very effective during Philadelphia’s Week 1 win over the Falcons, as he completed just 56% of his passes for 117 yards and one interceptions. He performed much better against the Buccaneers on Sunday (73% completion rate, 334 yards, one touchdown), but the Eagles still lost 27-21.

Wentz, of course, was playing at an MVP pace before going down last December. In 13 starts, Wentz posted 3,296 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions and was named second-team All-Pro despite missing three games. Among the 26 quarterbacks with at least 350 attempts in 2017, Wentz ranked second in ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, fourth in passer rating, and fourth in adjusted yards per attempt.

Wentz won’t return with his full arsenal at hand, as wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is still recovering from shoulder surgery while Mike Wallace injured his ankle on Sunday. However, Jeffery is expected to practice on a limited basis this week, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, so he could return to game action in the near future. And Wallace will not be placed on injured reserve after fracturing his fibula, Pederson said today, which means the Eagles may believe he could return later this year.

Eagles WR Mike Wallace Possibly Done For Season?

Eagles wideout Mike Wallace is out indefinitely after suffering an ankle injury during Week 2, and could potentially miss the remainder of the season, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link) was the first to report Wallace is dealing with a serious ankle issue.

Philadelphia could ill afford another blow to its wide receiver depth, as the club is already without Mack Hollins — who was placed on injured reserve earlier this month — and Alshon Jeffery, who is still working his way back from shoulder surgery. Jeffery indicated on September 7 that he was still multiple weeks away from returning to the field.

Nelson Agholor now leads a wide receiver contingent that also includes Kamar Aiken, DeAndre Carter, and Shelton Gibson, so the Eagles could look to add another pass-catcher in the near future. Markus Wheaton, who was with Philadelphia during the summer, is one obvious solution, while other available free agents include Dez Bryant, Jeremy Maclin, Breshad Perriman, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, and Jordan Matthews. Cleveland’s Josh Gordon is also available via trade, but there’s been no indication the Eagles have inquired on the Browns receiver.

Wallace, 32, inked a one-year, $1.915MM deal with the Eagles this spring in order to replace Torrey Smith as the club’s deep threat. After posting 52 receptions for 748 yards and four touchdowns with the Ravens in 2017, Wallace managed just three targets and zero catches for Philadelphia before going down.

Contract Details: Landry, Wallace, RG3

Here’s the latest from some the recently agreed-upon contracts around the NFL.

  • Jarvis Landry‘s five-year, $75.5MM Browns contract will come with $34MM fully guaranteed, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). This figure, which is a tad less than Landry likely would have earned if he was franchise-tagged twice, places Landry fifth among wideouts. The $47MM in total guarantees are third all-time, behind only DeAndre Hopkins and Mike Evans.
  • Another wideout has a somewhat bizarre clause in his Eagles deal. The defending Super Bowl champions will pay Mike Wallace an additional $585K if he weighs less than 250 pounds when they open their offseason program on Monday, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Wallace signed a one-year deal with a base value of $1.9MM, so Monday — barring an alarming discovery — will presumably be a nice bonus for the veteran deep threat.
  • The only guaranteed money in Robert Griffin III‘s one-year, $1.1MM deal with the Ravens is a $100K signing bonus, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Extra Points: Griffin, Falcons, Wallace, Fitzpatrick, Patriots

UCF held its pro day Thursday and 31 teams from around the NFL came out in part to watch linebacker Shaquem Griffin work out, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The Titans and Saints have already visited with the linebacker who captivated many at the Scouting Combine by running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and putting up 20 reps on the bench press with a prosthetic hand.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported that Griffin has been invited to the upcoming NFL Draft after a struggle to just get invited to the Scouting Combine. The 49ers were the only team not in attendance Thursday. Laine noted that most teams see Griffin as a weakside inside linebacker at the next level. His brother, Shaquill Griffin, is a cornerback for the Seahawks.

“I was a guy who was under the radar who they didn’t believe in at first but I feel like they’re starting to believe now,” Griffin said Thursday, via Laine. “I have the entire nation behind me now.”

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • While speaking with ESPN’s Vaughn McLure, former NFL agent Joel Corry opined that Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is likely to get $100MM in total guarantees, including $85MM guaranteed at signing, whenever he signs his new deal — based off previous quarterback deals. Both the Falcons and Ryan’s agent, Tom Condon, who also represents Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford, haven’t set a timetable on a possible deal. Curry believes that means that Ryan’s asking price is too high for the Falcons. Curry also doesn’t expect Ryan to take a hometown discount.
  • Mike Wallace‘s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth $1.92MM in guaranteed money and he can make up to $2.09MM with incentives, per Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic (on Twitter). Wallace got a signing bonus of $1MM and will make $915K in base salary.
  • NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Albright suggested (on Twitter) that mock drafts have Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick going too high and Boston College pass-rusher Harold Landry going too low, based off sources he’s spoken to.
  • Doug Kyed of NESN opines that people shouldn’t be surprised if former undrafted rookie Cole Croston competes for the Patriots‘ starting left tackle spot if they’re unable to address the position properly with the No. 31 overall pick in the draft. Croston, an Iowa alum, appeared in three games last season as a rookie. Both of the Patriots’ tackles from last season — Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming — have departed in free agency this offseason.

Eagles To Sign WR Mike Wallace

The Eagles have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, according to Peter Schrager of NFL.com (Twitter link). The pact is worth $2.5MM and contains incentives, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, and the maximum value of the contract is $4MM, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

In Wallace, Philadelphia has found a replacement for Torrey Smith, whom the club dealt to the Panthers in exchange for cornerback Daryl Worley earlier this month. Not only does Wallace represent an upgrade over Smith, but he’s also cheaper, as Smith was scheduled to earn a $5MM base salary in 2018. That level of savings is critical for the Eagles, who are among the most cap-strapped teams in the NFL.

Wallace, 32, will now join the fifth club of his pro career after spending the past two seasons with the Ravens. In 15 games (14 starts) in 2017, Wallace hauled in 52 receptions for 748 yards and four touchdowns. While those numbers were a bit lower than his career averages, Wallace managed 72 catches and 1,000+ yards just one year prior.

With the Eagles, Wallace will now join an offense that not only boasts a more talented quarterback than do the Ravens, but a more enviable offensive corps in total. Wallace will catch passes from MVP contender Carson Wentz, and he’ll be surrounded by skill position players such as Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Mack Hollins, Jay Ajayi, and Corey Clement.

Baltimore, for its part, reportedly didn’t publicly rule out a reunion with Wallace, but their free agent machinations said otherwise. Not only did the Ravens sign both John Brown and Michael Crabtree, but they’ve met with restricted free agents Cameron Meredith and Willie Snead in recent days.